Poetry Festival: Long Song for Summer - Camden Art Centre

Long Song For Summer is a poetry festival celebrating the work of a wide range of experimental and avant-garde poets based in or in regular contact with the UK in the 21st Century.

A group of 12 poets will be joined by DJs, emphasizing the unique and altogether vanguard crossovers between bass and lyric cultures, this eight-hour event promises to be an unmissable summer festival.

The poets themselves work on the fringes of the mainstream polite poetry world, with a focus on language, and language’s rescue from its abstraction and disempowerment in the era of financialised racial capitalism. With works ranging from a rekindling the spirit of Black Radicalism to exploring the mundanity of Suburbia, alongside the revolutionary dance between cadence and metaphor, this group of poets have been selected as both representative of UK-wide lyric sub-cultures as well as influential in their own right, with emphases on Global South solidarity and a decolonization.

Poets: Ashwani Sharma; Maria Sledmere; Dove/Christopher Kirubi; Mira Mattar; Keston Sutherland; Cole Denyer; Kat Sinclair; Aaron Kent; James Goodwin; Nisha Ramayya; Luke Roberts; Ronnie McGrath

DJs: JWARN [Sub Merchants], Sueuga, and Edna Martinez.

The Poets About the Organsiers

The Poets and Performers

Ashwani Sharma:

Ashwani Sharma is a senior lecturer at the London College of Communication (UAL). They teach and write in the areas of film,  and contemporary art, poetics, race, postcolonial and cultural studies. They are the founding co-editor of darkmatter journal (https://darkmatter-hub.pubpub.org/). They co-wrote with Azad Ashim Sharma and Kashif Sharma-Patel Suburban Finesse (Sad Press). They have also published poetry with Mote and The Hythe, 87 Press. Ashwani is the co-editor of Disorienting Rhythms: The Politics of Asian Dance Music (Zed Press). They are working on a monograph on race and audiovisual culture (Bloomsbury Academic) and their first collection of poetry/experimental writing.

Cole Denyer

Cole Denyer is an artist and poet. His works include cc: death chartered institute of personnel & development, by Veer2 (2022), self-published works include In Boiling England (2021) & The Housing Act (2019). His poems have appeared in DATABLEED 12 & 13, alongside the 87 press The Hythe: Digital Poetics & Ludd Gang 8. He organises Rest Breaks, a poetry and performance event series and is the co-founder of scatalogic rites of all nations.

Maria Sledmere

Maria Sledmere is currently Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Strathclyde and Tutor at the University of Glasgow and Beyond Form Creative Writing. She is editor-in-chief of SPAM Press and a member of the art and ecology collective, A+E. In 2021, The Palace of Humming Trees, a multimedia exhibition with Katie O’Grady and Jack O’Flynn, was shown at French Street Studios. With Rhian Williams, Maria co-edited an anthology, the weird folds: everyday poems from the anthropocene (Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2020), and her debut collection, The Luna Erratum, is out now also with Dostoyevsky Wannabe. A book-length poem, String Feeling, is forthcoming with Erotoplasty Editions, in addition to a pamphlet, Sans Soleil, written with fred spoliar and published by Face Press/Mermaid Motel.

Mira Mattar:

Mira Mattar writes fiction and poetry. Her novel, Yes, I Am A Destroyer was published in 2020 by Ma Bibliothèque and her chapbook, Affiliation, was published in 2021 by Sad Press. Her first collection of poems, The Bow, was recently published by The 87 Press. She lives and works in London.

Kat Sinclair 

Kat Sinclair is a poet and tutor from Southampton, currently working towards a PhD at the University of Sussex researching feminised labour and robotics. She is the author of Very Authentic Person (2019, the 87 Press), and PLEASE PRESS (2022, Sad Press).

Aaron Kent 

Aaron Kent is a working-class writer and award-winning publisher from Cornwall, now living in Wales. He runs the Michael Marks Publishing Award winning press Broken Sleep Books, and his most recent book is The Rise Of. Aaron was awarded the Awen medal from the Bards of Cornwall for his poetry pamphlet The Last Hundred. Gillian Clarke said, of his poetry, “Every poem is a dizzy word-dazzle, a dance of images, expressing a real life of work, babies, love and loss.” Andrew McMillan called it “Poetry that vibrates on its own frequency, and invites the reader into its own surreal soundscapes.” JH Prynne called his work “Unicorn Flavoured” and Vahni Capildeo said “Aaron Kent’s pages made me experience, for the first time ever in my reading, the spaces between words as rips in fabric that let skin show through in its bruised and tender luminosity”.

James Goodwin

James Goodwin is a poet doing a PhD in English and Humanities at Birkbeck, University of London. His pamphlet, aspects caught in the headspace we’re in: composition for friends (2020), is published by Face Press; and his debut book, Fleshed Out For All The Corners Of The Slip (2021), is published by the87press. His work has appeared in publications such as Poetry Wales, the Earthbound Press poetry pamphlet series with his Notes on Breath and Emanation (2020), There are New Suns / Bruised Blossoms (Verlag für moderne Kunst, 2021), LUDD GANG #5 (Poet’s Hardship Fund UK), and Altered States (Ignota Books, 2021). He has held poetry and poetics workshops, exhibited his visual art, and read his work in collaboration with The Showroom, Nottingham Contemporary & the Critical Poetics research group (Nottingham Trent University), Kunstraum Niederösterreich, VBKÖ (Austrian Association of Women Artists), Camden Arts Centre, Whitechapel Gallery, CCA Glasgow (with Nisha Ramayya), and (at) Arika – Episode 10: A Means Without End.

Christopher Kirubi/Dove

Christopher Kirubi/Dove is a London based poet and artist.

Luke Roberts

Luke Roberts is the author of Home Radio (the87), Glacial Decoys (Free Poetry) and other works of poetry and prose. He lives in London.

Nisha Ramayya

Nisha Ramayya grew up in Glasgow and now lives in London. Her poetry collection States of the Body Produced by Love (2019) is published by Ignota Books. Recent projects and publications include: poems in Ludd Gang (https://poetshardshipfunduk.com/about/); a collaboration with sonic dramaturg MJ Harding performed at Wysing Polyphonic 2021: Under Ether (reviewed in Tank); a sequence of poems reflecting on Scotland’s colonial histories in CCA Annex; and an essay-poem in response to the work of mathematician Fernando Zalamea in audiograft. She is currently working on a second poetry collection, tentatively called Now Let’s Take a Listening Walk.

Jwarn

Forever a humble student of the dancefloor, Jwarn is inspired by music and its capacity for creating those magical moments. As a Subtle Radio resident and multi-genre label boss of Sub Merchants, Jwarn seamlessly navigates an array of bass-infused flavors, delivering the flows to wriggle your toes to.

Edna Martinez

Artist, Dj / Curator of the Colombian Caribbean based in Berlin and Cartagena de Indias. Her musical selection is linked to her artistic research in which she explores autobiographical migratory routes keeping the concept of resistance as a reference. Her focus is building an ecosystem that transcends borders through the sounds that she loves to share: Afro-Caribbean rhythms, jazz bases, tribal polyrhythms, Arabic folklore and more.

Edna Martinez works on different projects such as LATINARAB, a live set and musical curatorship that involves Arab and Caribbean percussion on the set and artists from these areas on stage. EL VOLCAN is the only night for picotera in Germany, where she is co-founder and curator. She is also the woman behind Prende la Vela, an event that combines documentaries, live and electronic music. She also moderates monthly radio programs on RADIO ALHARA (Palestine) and WORLDWIDE FM (London).

Edna Martinez is a lover of vinyl records and has collaborated with record labels such as ANALOG AFRICA(Germany), NICOLAS JAAAR’s OTHER PEOPLE in NY, PALENQUE RECORDS (Colombia) and is currently doing a project with STRUT RECORDS (England).

About the Organsiers

The 87 Press:

The 87 Press is a South Asian, non-binary, and neurodiverse-led small press based in South London. Over the last three years, they’ve published 22 books, hosted over 30 poetry events, and published new writing online through their interdisciplinary e-journal theHythe. the87press publishes poetry, non-fiction, and fiction at the intersections of class, gender, sexuality, race, and neurodiversity.

The Sonic Agent:

The Sonic Agent is the curated multifarious venture of Christina Hazboun, a Palestinian explorer of music in space, time and society through promotion, boutique PR, research, radio shows, mixes, music film curation and podcasting. Her main sphere of activity focuses on increasing the appearance and audibility of new sounds and music from West Asia, North Africa and the global south sharing hybrid, diverse and powerful voices with those who come with an open ear.